Author Topic: How you know when it's time to go  (Read 9007 times)

Mr. Green

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How you know when it's time to go
« on: January 25, 2016, 08:28:58 AM »
We got 35" of snow over the weekend. Yesterday I spent a healthy part of my day shoveling out myself and two of my neighbors. I had cabin fever and it was impossible to go anywhere so I figured why not? After I had wrapped up and come inside, I realized I was in this really great place. I had accomplished something with immediate gratification from the results of my work. My muscles ached in that way that feels good because it's not quite painful but it lets you know you're alive. I was content with what I had spent that day of my life doing.

This is the exact opposite of how I feel while at my job. In recognizing this again, for the umpteenth time, the little voice in my head said, "Why are you going back to that job even one day more? You should quit now. You're close enough to the goal that you could figure it out and even if it meant periodic work between now and 65, odds are you'll be happier than continuing down the path that you're on." Of course, I'm only five months away from completing this journey so at this point I figure I'll hold out until the end. Have any of you FIREees experienced this and you actually cut your career short as a result?

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2016, 09:42:43 AM »
Here is the answer to your question and the conclusion I had made when I finally did....Using your own words

"Why are you going back to that job even one day more? You should quit now. You're close enough to the goal that you could figure it out and even if it meant periodic work between now and 65, odds are you'll be happier than continuing down the path that you're on."

Mr. Green

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2016, 10:22:43 AM »
Oh, I absolutely know what my heart wants to do. I had originally planned to work until March 2017 because it got us closer to the target amount I was comfortable with, even though it was probably going to be more than we really needed (as a 4% SWR goes). I decided to bail early and use the timing to attempt a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, which is something I've wanted to do since I was a kid. Were it not the dead of winter here now, I might consider just calling it quits but it seems the older I get the more restless I become so I'm not sure how well I'd fare walking away right this second, especially since my wife is still working for the time being. We're moving at the end of this year to a place with a more moderate climate in the winters so this won't be as much of an issue for me then. I was just curious if there were FIREees here who dealt with those kinds of feelings and actually bailed early.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 10:30:54 AM by Mr. Green »

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2016, 10:31:36 AM »
I am FI but not RE.

I don't think a good day away from work would change my mind. I have those all the time.

I think a particularly awful workday would be a more likely trigger.  I plan to work at least another 5 years, but if my job were to change drastically, if I were to face a bogus lawsuit, or find myself overwhelmed with an increasing workload, I could see myself bailing early.

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2016, 10:33:46 AM »
I'd be very careful Mr. Green. FIRE isn't always the "magic pill" in which to find happiness. And I think you have said you may have kids in the future...this is a huge wildcard. I'd suggest having a firm, concrete idea of how your days are going to be spent without a job to fill the hours...perhaps you have addressed this and I have missed it somehow.

There are many instances of FIRE's that "failed to catch" around these parts. I wouldn't rush into anything. I'm not saying don't FIRE immediately...but cautionary tales abound.

Mr. Green

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2016, 11:29:19 AM »
I'd be very careful Mr. Green. FIRE isn't always the "magic pill" in which to find happiness. And I think you have said you may have kids in the future...this is a huge wildcard. I'd suggest having a firm, concrete idea of how your days are going to be spent without a job to fill the hours...perhaps you have addressed this and I have missed it somehow.

There are many instances of FIRE's that "failed to catch" around these parts. I wouldn't rush into anything. I'm not saying don't FIRE immediately...but cautionary tales abound.
I get cabin lever in the truest sense. Lock me in a house for a couple days and I'm ready to tear through the walls but I could sit outside all day doing nothing and it's fine. I don't believe FIRE will be a problem. First there's the hike, then I'm building the place we're moving to, then there will be a kid shortly thereafter. I'm not a generally unhappy person. Hell spending a day splitting firewood would make me happy. I think I was built to be outside, and as a software engineer my work days are anything but. Put me in the woods or on a beach or by a river and it's bliss.

Rubic

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2016, 02:28:49 PM »
I too, get cabin fever if I'm indoors more than 24 hours.  I used the excessive snowflaguration to walk to different grocery stores on successive days (2 miles in one direction, 3 miles in another) just to top off milk and eggs.  It was pretty cool to see hundreds of other people out walking in my city, just enjoying the pleasure of ambulating through the streets.

Jon_Snow

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2016, 03:34:14 PM »
I'd be very careful Mr. Green. FIRE isn't always the "magic pill" in which to find happiness. And I think you have said you may have kids in the future...this is a huge wildcard. I'd suggest having a firm, concrete idea of how your days are going to be spent without a job to fill the hours...perhaps you have addressed this and I have missed it somehow.

There are many instances of FIRE's that "failed to catch" around these parts. I wouldn't rush into anything. I'm not saying don't FIRE immediately...but cautionary tales abound.
I get cabin lever in the truest sense. Lock me in a house for a couple days and I'm ready to tear through the walls but I could sit outside all day doing nothing and it's fine. I don't believe FIRE will be a problem. First there's the hike, then I'm building the place we're moving to, then there will be a kid shortly thereafter. I'm not a generally unhappy person. Hell spending a day splitting firewood would make me happy. I think I was built to be outside, and as a software engineer my work days are anything but. Put me in the woods or on a beach or by a river and it's bliss.

Okay, after reading that I think you may indeed have FIRE-potential. ;)

StockBeard

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 04:32:40 PM »
I could probably FIRE right now if I wasn't the bread earner for my wife + 2 kids. So, yeah, lots of "those" days at the office where I'm thinking I could do it now and wing it if things don't go as planned.

@Jon_Snow: any link to some cautionary tales?

Dicey

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 05:57:33 PM »
More than cautionary tales, what you might find are people who pulled the plug, but were lured back by lucrative, but generally temporary, offers. They don't need the money,  they just enjoy the challenge  I'm looking at you, exflyboy.


I've posted this a lot of times on various threads, but it bears repeating. It was my pre-FIRE mantra:

"Retiring too early is a mistake that can be recovered from. Too late and there is no recovery."

I also liken it to the game of horseshoes. Sometimes close is good enough.

I'll add that the current market conditions offer an example of why a fat cash cushion (aka EF) is not a bad idea. If one wanted to retire today, while the market is off, they could simply utilize their cash reserves until the market recovers. Just sayin'.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 06:49:45 PM »
Positive vibes to you Mr. Green.  Hope whatever you decide works out.  Sounds like you are in a place where you have options others don't.  Let us know when you join the FIRE cohort officially!

arebelspy

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2016, 05:41:31 AM »
Here is the answer to your question and the conclusion I had made when I finally did....Using your own words

"Why are you going back to that job even one day more? You should quit now. You're close enough to the goal that you could figure it out and even if it meant periodic work between now and 65, odds are you'll be happier than continuing down the path that you're on."

Yup.  We hit the "close enough" and did OLY (One Less Year).. though actually it was more like two less years, as our planned FIRE was 2017, and we cut out in 2015.

But the above bolded reasoning is exactly what we decided.

The discussion basically went: It would be far safer to do two more years, build up way more than we need, etc.  Or we could FIRE now, start to travel, have kid(s), and figure it out (if necessary, which it probably won't even be).  Yeah, we'll be alright.  There's other stuff we want to do now, so let's go do it!

And we did.  And it's awesome.
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Dan_Breakfree

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2016, 11:29:31 AM »

Yup.  We hit the "close enough" and did OLY (One Less Year).. though actually it was more like two less years, as our planned FIRE was 2017, and we cut out in 2015.

But the above bolded reasoning is exactly what we decided.

The discussion basically went: It would be far safer to do two more years, build up way more than we need, etc.  Or we could FIRE now, start to travel, have kid(s), and figure it out (if necessary, which it probably won't even be).  Yeah, we'll be alright.  There's other stuff we want to do now, so let's go do it!

And we did.  And it's awesome.

This is great, thanks for posting. It seems like so many people get stuck on hitting a certain number like they'll never work again. I want to FIRE to pursue a lifestyle that we love, but part of that lifestyle will definitely include trading my offered and enjoyed services for tokens of appreciation from others in the forms of dollars.

Also, great quote from Diane!!

"Retiring too early is a mistake that can be recovered from. Too late and there is no recovery."

Mr.Tako

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2016, 04:29:50 PM »
In my case, it kind of found me!  I had been considering "early retirement" for years, but just never did it.  My job ended due to a west-coast office closure, and I said "What the heck..I'll be done with that kind of work."  So, I took the severance package and haven't regretted it yet.

So now I devote my time to other projects: My blog, my kids, and other things that interest me.

Venturing

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2016, 05:35:00 PM »
I sort of did. I was going to leave anyway once we had children but ended up leaving a year before I had our daughter. Basically I was asking my husband 'do I have to go to work today' on a fairly regular basis. Not because I actively disliked my job, more because it just didn't really inspire me anymore.  one day he pointed out that actually no I didn't have to if I didn't want to. So I resigned.

I was offered some pretty lucrative contracting work back to the company. Initially I was very tempted but did come to my senses and realised that I had left the job because it just didn't interest me that much anymore, and being paid more to do it wouldn't actually change that fact.

My husband is still working for now but we are in the track for him to retire too.

Miss Prim

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2016, 03:37:27 PM »
After calling my husband from work a few times a year to tell him I couldn't take it anymore and him telling me, just hold on a while longer, I called one day to again complain I couldn't take it anymore and he finally said well just retire!  Which was really weird, because I am the one who handles all the finances!  I then hung up the phone, walked into my bosses office and gave her my notice. 

I was supposed to go out at the end of June, but then after a few weeks, I upped it to April 3rd.  Once I got the bug, I couldn't wait that long.

                                                                                    Miss Prim

Exflyboy

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2016, 07:11:30 PM »
More than cautionary tales, what you might find are people who pulled the plug, but were lured back by lucrative, but generally temporary, offers. They don't need the money,  they just enjoy the challenge  I'm looking at you, exflyboy.



Ouch!.. How did you know I was reading this?....:)

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2016, 07:34:06 PM »
After calling my husband from work a few times a year to tell him I couldn't take it anymore and him telling me, just hold on a while longer, I called one day to again complain I couldn't take it anymore and he finally said well just retire!  Which was really weird, because I am the one who handles all the finances!  I then hung up the phone, walked into my bosses office and gave her my notice. 

I was supposed to go out at the end of June, but then after a few weeks, I upped it to April 3rd.  Once I got the bug, I couldn't wait that long.

                                                                                    Miss Prim

Very similar story here. I had been planting the idea that I might want leave my job for good in my wife's ear for a long time - she wasn't always a totally receptive audience. Finally, I think she sensed that the mental and physical toll was becoming too much for me (it was) and said something to the effect of "Why don't you just quit?". I did. But not before I showed her the numbers that showed clearly that my salary was no longer necessary to continue our stache-building ways. I will never forget how she ultimately supported me 100% in this decision. Our marriage has never been better.

Mr. Green

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2016, 06:32:28 AM »
I'm incredibly thankful that my wife is supportive. If I'm able to make this 4 month hike happen later this summer it will only be because she's staying behind and working while I do it. She'll continue to work while I build our new place this Winter, and then she'll join me in the Spring. If it weren't for that I'd still be working because I wouldn't be comfortable drawing down our stash, due to no income, while spending the capital to build a new house.

Rollin

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2016, 07:29:26 PM »
I'm incredibly thankful that my wife is supportive. If I'm able to make this 4 month hike happen later this summer it will only be because she's staying behind and working while I do it. She'll continue to work while I build our new place this Winter, and then she'll join me in the Spring. If it weren't for that I'd still be working because I wouldn't be comfortable drawing down our stash, due to no income, while spending the capital to build a new house.

I added 5 months to my RE date (4/6 moved to 8/1), but have yet to announce it.  I'd like to not go in tomorrow though, just be done.  I have put so much energy into planning for RE that I feel like I am just ready to go.  I have a very good job, but I want to go ride my bicycle for a few months, like you want to thru-hike the AT.  I have always wanted to cross the country by bicycle (at least since I was about 13 or 14 years of age) and couple that with the desire to have an abundance of free time (just to soak in it) and that has built to be my main focus, out weighing staying at my job until August 1st.  That being said, I may just go July 1 (I am FI already), you know since the passes in the Rockies might close early ;-).  Gotta have your priorities straight!

On hiking the AT and deciding on FIRE.  My situation may be the same as yours, just insert AT (and an extra month!) where I say cross the country.  I might be able to put off my cross country ride another year, but I feel that planning on doing it this summer will significantly increase the odds of me actually doing it (not just my motivation, but for many other reasons that might be out of my control in 2017). So, you might want to consider my words and apply them to your situation about the AT.  I've put it off for about 36 years (from an age that I could actually go out and do it ~ 18).

BTW - I'll likely be on the AT sometime after FIRE, as that is one of the things I want to do more of in retirement (6 days completed north of Asheville last summer).  I just don't have enough vacations now to do all the outdoor things that I want to do (e.g., a week in the Mohave desert this April - definate, multiple days/weeks on the AT, weeks on my boat in the Everglades and Keys, ride around the country on my motorcycle, do the Great Loop on my 18' Panga Marine Skiff, take a train to Washington DC and then ride up the C&O/GAP trail to Pittsburgh then up to Ann Arbor to watch Michigan play Ohio State in 2017, oh and ride across the country later this year just to name a few : ).

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2016, 07:44:06 PM »
More than cautionary tales, what you might find are people who pulled the plug, but were lured back by lucrative, but generally temporary, offers. They don't need the money,  they just enjoy the challenge  I'm looking at you, exflyboy.



Ouch!.. How did you know I was reading this?....:)
Oh, it wasn't meant as any kind if dig at all, EFB!  I love that you do whatever interests you for as long as it interests you for fat wads of money that you don't really need. This is what the retirement police AND the 'fraid to retire folks don't get. It's okay to work if it's fun/challenging/wonderfully lucrative.
My point is that I suspect that more folks work for the same reasons you do, not because they miscalculated their stash or their ability to fill their days meaningfully.

deborah

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2016, 01:18:32 AM »
Have any of you FIREees experienced this and you actually cut your career short as a result?

Yes. I was planning to retire a year later than I did because an opportunity came up that wouldn't have been repeated (I thought it would at the time, but looking back I was incredibly lucky that I took it).

"Retiring too early is a mistake that can be recovered from. Too late and there is no recovery."

I disagree with this. I retired  long time after I was FI (but didn't realise it). So what? Retirement is a good life, with no room for regrets.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2016, 04:23:36 AM »
I'm incredibly thankful that my wife is supportive. If I'm able to make this 4 month hike happen later this summer it will only be because she's staying behind and working while I do it. She'll continue to work while I build our new place this Winter, and then she'll join me in the Spring. If it weren't for that I'd still be working because I wouldn't be comfortable drawing down our stash, due to no income, while spending the capital to build a new house.

I added 5 months to my RE date (4/6 moved to 8/1), but have yet to announce it.  I'd like to not go in tomorrow though, just be done.  I have put so much energy into planning for RE that I feel like I am just ready to go.  I have a very good job, but I want to go ride my bicycle for a few months, like you want to thru-hike the AT.  I have always wanted to cross the country by bicycle (at least since I was about 13 or 14 years of age) and couple that with the desire to have an abundance of free time (just to soak in it) and that has built to be my main focus, out weighing staying at my job until August 1st.  That being said, I may just go July 1 (I am FI already), you know since the passes in the Rockies might close early ;-).  Gotta have your priorities straight!

On hiking the AT and deciding on FIRE.  My situation may be the same as yours, just insert AT (and an extra month!) where I say cross the country.  I might be able to put off my cross country ride another year, but I feel that planning on doing it this summer will significantly increase the odds of me actually doing it (not just my motivation, but for many other reasons that might be out of my control in 2017). So, you might want to consider my words and apply them to your situation about the AT.  I've put it off for about 36 years (from an age that I could actually go out and do it ~ 18).

BTW - I'll likely be on the AT sometime after FIRE, as that is one of the things I want to do more of in retirement (6 days completed north of Asheville last summer).  I just don't have enough vacations now to do all the outdoor things that I want to do (e.g., a week in the Mohave desert this April - definate, multiple days/weeks on the AT, weeks on my boat in the Everglades and Keys, ride around the country on my motorcycle, do the Great Loop on my 18' Panga Marine Skiff, take a train to Washington DC and then ride up the C&O/GAP trail to Pittsburgh then up to Ann Arbor to watch Michigan play Ohio State in 2017, oh and ride across the country later this year just to name a few : ).

So why did you delay your RE date?

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2016, 05:51:12 AM »
I'm incredibly thankful that my wife is supportive. If I'm able to make this 4 month hike happen later this summer it will only be because she's staying behind and working while I do it. She'll continue to work while I build our new place this Winter, and then she'll join me in the Spring. If it weren't for that I'd still be working because I wouldn't be comfortable drawing down our stash, due to no income, while spending the capital to build a new house.

I added 5 months to my RE date (4/6 moved to 8/1), but have yet to announce it.  I'd like to not go in tomorrow though, just be done.  I have put so much energy into planning for RE that I feel like I am just ready to go.  I have a very good job, but I want to go ride my bicycle for a few months, like you want to thru-hike the AT.  I have always wanted to cross the country by bicycle (at least since I was about 13 or 14 years of age) and couple that with the desire to have an abundance of free time (just to soak in it) and that has built to be my main focus, out weighing staying at my job until August 1st.  That being said, I may just go July 1 (I am FI already), you know since the passes in the Rockies might close early ;-).  Gotta have your priorities straight!

On hiking the AT and deciding on FIRE.  My situation may be the same as yours, just insert AT (and an extra month!) where I say cross the country.  I might be able to put off my cross country ride another year, but I feel that planning on doing it this summer will significantly increase the odds of me actually doing it (not just my motivation, but for many other reasons that might be out of my control in 2017). So, you might want to consider my words and apply them to your situation about the AT.  I've put it off for about 36 years (from an age that I could actually go out and do it ~ 18).

BTW - I'll likely be on the AT sometime after FIRE, as that is one of the things I want to do more of in retirement (6 days completed north of Asheville last summer).  I just don't have enough vacations now to do all the outdoor things that I want to do (e.g., a week in the Mohave desert this April - definate, multiple days/weeks on the AT, weeks on my boat in the Everglades and Keys, ride around the country on my motorcycle, do the Great Loop on my 18' Panga Marine Skiff, take a train to Washington DC and then ride up the C&O/GAP trail to Pittsburgh then up to Ann Arbor to watch Michigan play Ohio State in 2017, oh and ride across the country later this year just to name a few : ).

So why did you delay your RE date?

Party because of the OM(1/2)Y syndrome for me, but also we just got a new director and I feel like I'd be leaving him in the lurch if I left April (he's really good to work with).  Also, I initially picked April because I was going to be out in Joshua Tree area in the third week and so I thought the frugal guy that I am I thought "why waste a good air fare?" and just leave from there on a bicycle trip up the Sierra-Cascades Adventure Cycling Association route.  However, this being an El Nino year it is very unlikely that I can get through the passes in May.  If that happens then I'd have to find another route or sit around for maybe a month or more.  So, I delayed until after summer.

BUT - I know that is all blah blah blah (if your question was more of a statement, with a sprinkle of goading :).  I just am unsure of myself.  Seriously, there are no early retirees in my circle (other than my dad at 49 and my brother at 50) and I get a lot of people giving me a hard time about my plans, including my DW (she is supportive, but nervous).  That gets me to doubting myself (and my spreadsheets), and when I do that I just stay put.  However, I'm getting much more definite about it and am just about ready to let the new guy know.  In fact this post has got me to thinking about leaving in mid-July as opposed to 8/1/16.  That way I won't be rushed to get across the Cascades and Rockies.  I want to spend a week hiking in the Bitterroots too, and if I get there too late (again, we are having a severe El Nino year and there could be a lot of snow in the upper elevations) that may cause some issues.

Rollin

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2016, 05:52:46 AM »
We got 35" of snow over the weekend. Yesterday I spent a healthy part of my day shoveling out myself and two of my neighbors. I had cabin fever and it was impossible to go anywhere so I figured why not? After I had wrapped up and come inside, I realized I was in this really great place. I had accomplished something with immediate gratification from the results of my work. My muscles ached in that way that feels good because it's not quite painful but it lets you know you're alive. I was content with what I had spent that day of my life doing.

This is the exact opposite of how I feel while at my job. In recognizing this again, for the umpteenth time, the little voice in my head said, "Why are you going back to that job even one day more? You should quit now. You're close enough to the goal that you could figure it out and even if it meant periodic work between now and 65, odds are you'll be happier than continuing down the path that you're on." Of course, I'm only five months away from completing this journey so at this point I figure I'll hold out until the end. Have any of you FIREees experienced this and you actually cut your career short as a result?

BTW MrGreen, what is your FIRE date?

Mr. Green

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2016, 09:01:48 AM »
BTW MrGreen, what is your FIRE date?
6/30.

It's going to be a whirlwind and I love it that it's going to be that way. At the moment I'm full throttle like the hike is happening. I'm going out for a week long hike at the end of May to be sure I actually want to do this by myself, etc. I've heard of too many people who turn their lives on their ear to thru-hike the AT, only to find out 2 weeks in that the journey isn't really what they thought it would be. I have no illusions about how hard it will be so I think I'm good there. I'm away again for a week in June for my 10th wedding anniversary. I'll spend 7/1 at home doing the last of the prep, and then my Mom, my sister, and my wife are driving me to Maine on the 2nd.  All the other prep will have to happen on weekends, plus I plan to have some kind of running/hiking regimen leading up to my departure so that I'm not going from 0 to 100, as physical activity goes. The nice thing is that all this insanity will make the last 2 months of work fly by, which I'll need dearly. Oh, and I'm bouncing back and forth between states because I'm doing all the site work for the new place I'm building.

Just think about all that to type this post fills me with such anticipation and excitement that I can barely sit still. I'm jacked out of my mind for all the changes that are about to happen, but it also feels a little scary too.

Cookie78

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2016, 09:36:05 AM »
I haven't done it yet, but I think about it every day for similar reasons as you've stated even though I have 18 more months to go. I'm certain that if I didn't have 2 houses in a currently shitty housing market I would sell them and FIRE as soon as possible, even if it means I may have to work a little bit here and there during FIRE. I'm tempted to do it even in a shitty housing market, but it would bump my networth down to 'barely getting by' which is too close for comfort for me, especially when the alternative is holding out for 18 more months and hoping the housing market will be better by then.

Some days holding out seems like the best idea and that I can manage
Other days 18 month feels like WAY too long.

Rollin

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2016, 11:19:32 AM »
BTW MrGreen, what is your FIRE date?
6/30.

It's going to be a whirlwind and I love it that it's going to be that way. At the moment I'm full throttle like the hike is happening. I'm going out for a week long hike at the end of May to be sure I actually want to do this by myself, etc. I've heard of too many people who turn their lives on their ear to thru-hike the AT, only to find out 2 weeks in that the journey isn't really what they thought it would be. I have no illusions about how hard it will be so I think I'm good there. I'm away again for a week in June for my 10th wedding anniversary. I'll spend 7/1 at home doing the last of the prep, and then my Mom, my sister, and my wife are driving me to Maine on the 2nd.  All the other prep will have to happen on weekends, plus I plan to have some kind of running/hiking regimen leading up to my departure so that I'm not going from 0 to 100, as physical activity goes. The nice thing is that all this insanity will make the last 2 months of work fly by, which I'll need dearly. Oh, and I'm bouncing back and forth between states because I'm doing all the site work for the new place I'm building.

Just think about all that to type this post fills me with such anticipation and excitement that I can barely sit still. I'm jacked out of my mind for all the changes that are about to happen, but it also feels a little scary too.

That is quite exciting.  You are doing what I am in RE land, and that is taking on a big hike/bike!  It is awesome to have that time available, isn't it?  On the other hand, if I get out there (out West) and decide to adjust to something other than a ride across the country, I'm okay with that.  That is similar to what you may be contemplating a few weeks into your hike.

Mr. Green

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2016, 12:08:51 PM »
BTW MrGreen, what is your FIRE date?
6/30.

It's going to be a whirlwind and I love it that it's going to be that way. At the moment I'm full throttle like the hike is happening. I'm going out for a week long hike at the end of May to be sure I actually want to do this by myself, etc. I've heard of too many people who turn their lives on their ear to thru-hike the AT, only to find out 2 weeks in that the journey isn't really what they thought it would be. I have no illusions about how hard it will be so I think I'm good there. I'm away again for a week in June for my 10th wedding anniversary. I'll spend 7/1 at home doing the last of the prep, and then my Mom, my sister, and my wife are driving me to Maine on the 2nd.  All the other prep will have to happen on weekends, plus I plan to have some kind of running/hiking regimen leading up to my departure so that I'm not going from 0 to 100, as physical activity goes. The nice thing is that all this insanity will make the last 2 months of work fly by, which I'll need dearly. Oh, and I'm bouncing back and forth between states because I'm doing all the site work for the new place I'm building.

Just think about all that to type this post fills me with such anticipation and excitement that I can barely sit still. I'm jacked out of my mind for all the changes that are about to happen, but it also feels a little scary too.

That is quite exciting.  You are doing what I am in RE land, and that is taking on a big hike/bike!  It is awesome to have that time available, isn't it?  On the other hand, if I get out there (out West) and decide to adjust to something other than a ride across the country, I'm okay with that.  That is similar to what you may be contemplating a few weeks into your hike.
Yeah, I am open to plans changing. Only 1 in 4 finish a thru-hike statistically. I think a large percentage of that is people not really understanding what they're getting into but injuries happen too. I would be okay with getting off a couple months in if I reached a point where I felt like I had accomplished my goal. I think it will be interesting going from work to semi-solitude in the woods in the span of 48 hours. Talk about decompressing.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2016, 04:35:28 AM »
I'm incredibly thankful that my wife is supportive. If I'm able to make this 4 month hike happen later this summer it will only be because she's staying behind and working while I do it. She'll continue to work while I build our new place this Winter, and then she'll join me in the Spring. If it weren't for that I'd still be working because I wouldn't be comfortable drawing down our stash, due to no income, while spending the capital to build a new house.

I added 5 months to my RE date (4/6 moved to 8/1), but have yet to announce it.  I'd like to not go in tomorrow though, just be done.  I have put so much energy into planning for RE that I feel like I am just ready to go.  I have a very good job, but I want to go ride my bicycle for a few months, like you want to thru-hike the AT.  I have always wanted to cross the country by bicycle (at least since I was about 13 or 14 years of age) and couple that with the desire to have an abundance of free time (just to soak in it) and that has built to be my main focus, out weighing staying at my job until August 1st.  That being said, I may just go July 1 (I am FI already), you know since the passes in the Rockies might close early ;-).  Gotta have your priorities straight!

On hiking the AT and deciding on FIRE.  My situation may be the same as yours, just insert AT (and an extra month!) where I say cross the country.  I might be able to put off my cross country ride another year, but I feel that planning on doing it this summer will significantly increase the odds of me actually doing it (not just my motivation, but for many other reasons that might be out of my control in 2017). So, you might want to consider my words and apply them to your situation about the AT.  I've put it off for about 36 years (from an age that I could actually go out and do it ~ 18).

BTW - I'll likely be on the AT sometime after FIRE, as that is one of the things I want to do more of in retirement (6 days completed north of Asheville last summer).  I just don't have enough vacations now to do all the outdoor things that I want to do (e.g., a week in the Mohave desert this April - definate, multiple days/weeks on the AT, weeks on my boat in the Everglades and Keys, ride around the country on my motorcycle, do the Great Loop on my 18' Panga Marine Skiff, take a train to Washington DC and then ride up the C&O/GAP trail to Pittsburgh then up to Ann Arbor to watch Michigan play Ohio State in 2017, oh and ride across the country later this year just to name a few : ).

So why did you delay your RE date?

Party because of the OM(1/2)Y syndrome for me, but also we just got a new director and I feel like I'd be leaving him in the lurch if I left April (he's really good to work with).  Also, I initially picked April because I was going to be out in Joshua Tree area in the third week and so I thought the frugal guy that I am I thought "why waste a good air fare?" and just leave from there on a bicycle trip up the Sierra-Cascades Adventure Cycling Association route.  However, this being an El Nino year it is very unlikely that I can get through the passes in May.  If that happens then I'd have to find another route or sit around for maybe a month or more.  So, I delayed until after summer.

BUT - I know that is all blah blah blah (if your question was more of a statement, with a sprinkle of goading :).  I just am unsure of myself.  Seriously, there are no early retirees in my circle (other than my dad at 49 and my brother at 50) and I get a lot of people giving me a hard time about my plans, including my DW (she is supportive, but nervous).  That gets me to doubting myself (and my spreadsheets), and when I do that I just stay put.  However, I'm getting much more definite about it and am just about ready to let the new guy know.  In fact this post has got me to thinking about leaving in mid-July as opposed to 8/1/16.  That way I won't be rushed to get across the Cascades and Rockies.  I want to spend a week hiking in the Bitterroots too, and if I get there too late (again, we are having a severe El Nino year and there could be a lot of snow in the upper elevations) that may cause some issues.

I wasn't goading at all; just genuinely curious why you would wait when you seem to be so ready to go.  But if you still have some doubt about your calculations, I can understand that.

Rollin

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2016, 08:02:47 AM »
Monkey Uncle - thanks for that clarification and your sincerity, but I think I goad myself (or roll my eyes to myself when I change plans - often) :)).  The last plan was a late April week+ in the desert (Mohave), then leave to ride to British Columbia (Sierra-Cascades), but that would have required either full retirement April 8, or ask for a sabbatical for three months.  I had a friend ask me point blank "are you doing it (sabbatical) for the new boss or yourself?" My answer was easy and didn't hit me at the time (it was rather matter-of-fact), but I was doing it for the new guy.  Well, that sunk in after a bit and I came to my senses.  I really didn't want a sabbatical, which would mean the whole time I was out wandering the West I knew that I'd have to go back to work.  Not good for my mental state (I am weird that way).

So, I thought a little more time at the grindstone (5 months) would get me a little more $$, and I could ease the new guy in over a longer period of time.  Also, in the meantime my dad popped me a few pre-inheritance checks which have really put us over the edge (the good side) on the $$.  I play with the spreadsheets regularly and now am fairly confident that there will be enough money forever.  I just need to take the leap! and see where I land.  Sometimes the best things have happened to me when I took a leap.

Dicey

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Re: How you know when it's time to go
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2016, 08:40:56 AM »
"Retiring too early is a mistake that can be recovered from. Too late and there is no recovery."

I disagree with this. I retired  long time after I was FI (but didn't realise it). So what? Retirement is a good life, with no room for regrets.
Deborah, your comment is rather, er, abrupt, and shows that you might have missed the point. The regrets are if one retires too late to enjoy the experience. Luckily, that seems not to have happened for either of us. Aren't we the lucky ones?